The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether counsel can inspect police reports that are already used by the state to refresh the recollection of a witness at trial.
Last week, the high court granted one transfer out of more than three dozen cases considered for review by the state’s high court. The case Thabit Gault v. State of Indiana , 27A02-0603-CR-224, involves a Grant County man’s appeal of his 2004 arrest relating to felony possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.
At trial, defense attorney Shane Beal cross-examined an officer who’d arrested Gault and, after the officer expressed uncertainty, the prosecutor gave him a copy of the police report to read before testifying. Beal asked for time to read the report, but the prosecutor invoked the work product privilege and the trial court determined it was not discoverable evidence and denied the request.
On appeal, Gault contended that he and his attorney should have been permitted to review the report pursuant to Indiana Evidence Rule 612. The Court of Appeals affirmed that in a 2-1 decision Feb. 13, holding that the trial court should have allowed Gault to see the report but that the denial did not constitute reversible error. Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented.
Arguments have not been set for this case. Along with this transfer, the justices denied transfer of 36 cases – including John Doe v. Town of Plainfield (http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/02060701jts.pdf), which the Court of Appeals decided in February that a resident can sue the city anonymously in opposition of an ordinance banning sex offenders from parks and recreational areas.